Christopher Paul Jones, 40, was killed instantly when his car was struck by another motorist who drove the wrong way down the A55 after suffering a “hypoglycemic event”
A diabetic man has ‘no memory’ of driving the wrong way for almost five miles before a crash that tragically killed a dad-of-one.
Christopher Paul Jones, known as Paul, was killed instantly when his car was struck by another motorist who drove the wrong way down the A55 after suffering a “hypoglycemic event”.
Mr Jones was pronounced dead at the scene on the eastbound carriageway between Llanfairfechan and Talybont, Gwynedd, an inquest in Caernarfon heard yesterday.
The 40-year-old, from Penmaenmawr, described as “thoughtful, very kind and generous”, was travelling home from a dance class in Bangor when the accident happened in February 2018.
The driver of the other vehicle, John Keith Williams, from Llanfairpwll, Anglesey, told the hearing he had “no recollection” of the crash.
Mr Williams, who was diagnosed with type one diabetes in the early 1990s, was left confused after suffering a “hypoglycemic event”, North Wales Live reports.
Hadyn Iball / North Wales Live)
He had been travelling west in the eastbound carriageway for almost five miles in his Nissan when he collided with Mr Jones’ Hyundai on the hard shoulder between junction 11 and 12.
He sustained a serious head injury in the collision and was flown to Stoke with life-threatening injuries.
Mr Williams said that he did not remember anything of the week leading up to the crash or in the three days after he was left with memory loss caused by the head injury.
“Unfortunately I have no recollection of the drive that day.
“Nothing has come back to me at all from day one – it’s frustrating because obviously, I would like to have had clarity myself into what happened on the day to help myself, my wife and to help his family but unfortunately that is not the case.
Hadyn Iball / North Wales Live)
“I have experienced a hypoglycemic event before and always have jelly babies in my vehicle or in my pocket, I would take five or six if I felt the onset of a hypoglycemic event and would feel normal within 10 minutes.
Mr Williams was told by a doctor after the crash that as a long-term diabetic he was at “very high risk” of suffering a no-warning hypoglycemic event.
They occur when blood sugar levels drops too low, which can be triggered by high or excessive activity.
On the day of the crash, Mr Williams had been building a shed and “carrying large bits of timber” but he did not consider it to be “high activity” for him and said that he had eaten responsibly in accordance with his needs.
Barrister Sarah Sutherland, representing the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, said Mr Williams’ medical records suggested he had an issue with hypoglycaemic events during the evenings.
The hearing at Caernarfon heard how Mr Williams used a diabetic pump to help manage his condition.
Dr Jonathan Bodansky, a diabetes specialist did not “have a clear answer” on what caused the event “despite a lot of time and effort examining this case”.
Forensic collision investigator William Gordon Saynor, confirmed that there was no evidence that either vehicle had any mechanical conditions and that the weather played no part in the collision.
Acting senior coroner Katie Sutherland said the pathologist, Dr Mark Lord, confirmed Mr Jones suffered multiple injuries and his death would have been “instantaneous”.
Delivering a narrative verdict Ms Sutherland said: “The collision was caused by Mr Williams’ car being driven in the wrong direction due to him having a diabetic hypoglycemic event, the cause of which is unknown.”
Mr Jones’ sister described him as a “sensible” and “protective” man: “He was always looking out for me like a father figure.
“He was ambitious and highly focused and had travelled globally for work whilst single-handedly raising his son Jacob.”
His father said his son, a product analyst, was always “very kind” and had recently taken up salsa dancing having met a woman in Estonia.
He said: “She was going to dance classes there and he was doing it here so when they met up they could dance. He wanted to impress her, that’s just what he was like.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.